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Medicare Supplement Plans

Hi,
About how much should we allocate for a Medicare supplement plan? We are doing some planning for when my wife retires in two years. Assume she will be 62, I will be 67, and our income will be about $100K (we can afford a good plan), and we will be living outside the US for at least 4 months a year.
I know this is vague given the plethora of situations and plans but we are babes in the woods and haven't found a financial planner familiar with such issues.
Thanks, Gary
Reply to
Abby Brown
In article ,
You can get free counseling from a SHIP counsellor. Call 1-800-Medicare for SHIP's 800 number for your state and arrange a appointment. I am a SHIP counsellor and usually spend about 45 minutes covering an Introduction to Medicare and the various options to cover what Medicare doesn't cover.
Unless your wife has been disabled for two years for two years she will not be eligible for Medicare until she is aged 65. If she works for an employer with over 20 people she will be eligible for COBRA (that is she can continue on her employer's plan) for 18 months at about $450/mo (in California). After that things get hairy especially if she has preexisting conditions. She might want to hold off retirement until she is 63 1/2.
You have been eligible for Medicare since age 65. Why aren't you signed up unless you have been riding on your wife's plan. Medicare consists of 3 important parts -A (hospitalization), B (outpatients and doctors) and D (drugs). There is a Part C that is a package deal.
There is a booklet available from Medicare on line called Medicare and You which covers everything but many of my clients feel it has been written by the same people who wrote the instructions for Form 1040.
Reply to
Avrum Lapin

I have a well above average IQ, a Ph.D, taught at the University level, worked for a couple of US Government Intelligence agencies, and worked 35 years as a R&D scientist. And I agree. They seem to go out of their way to make something fairly straight forward into "Cover your ass" gobbledygook. That booklet should be 90% smaller. More is not always better.
Chip
Reply to
Chip

And from the IRS web site:
?The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.? ? Albert Einstein, physicist
Reply to
Ron Rosenfeld

In addition to Avrum's excellent information, the Medicare Web site has an excellent tool for comparing Medicare supplement plans. There are only 12 plans so it is very easy to select the features you want. Once you pick a plan picking a company is easy since the plan features are defined by federal law so you know you are getting exactly the same benefits regardless of the compay you choose.
--
 .Bill.
Reply to
Bill

In article , "Bill" wrote:
The biggest difference between the insurers are that most have age based premiums (the 80 year olds pay more than the 70 year olds) but a few (possibly only 1) are community rated (the 80 year olds pay the same as the 70 year olds). Also if you sign up by age 65 and 6 months there are no penalties for pre-existings
Reply to
Avrum Lapin

Andy add:
P.S. Medicare won't pay for treatment outside the US......Some plans contain travel insurance. I don't know how that works since the plans only pay 20% of what Medicare pays, and if Medicare pays nothing, I don't know what the deal is.
Reply to
AndyS

I am setting up an appointment.
I can't cover her under my medicare?
What happens at 63 1/2?
She is covering me.
I looked at the Medicare site. That is why I'm here.
Thanks, Gary
Reply to
Abby Brown

IIRC, Medicare also covers Mexico and Canada and emergency care elsewhere. Expat sources recommend having a plan that covers outside the US. We always have the option of returning to the states for nonemergency care. The countries we are considering offer healthcare coverage at low rates if you have resident status. In some it is mandatory. Healthcare in large cities is claimed to be comparable to US however you might need private insurance or pay out-of-pocket for timely care.
Gary
Reply to
Abby Brown

In article ,
Big SNIP
No
63 1/2 plus 18 months of COBRA = 65
Snip
When you lose your coverage and you sign up for Medicare you will have to tell them that you currently have credible coverage etc. Note that Medicare plus a supplement may be cheaper than what your wife is paying to cover you.
Reply to
Avrum Lapin

You might want to point out that Medicare and SS don't begin together at 65 anymore. Medicare kicks in then, but SS is getting stretched out. I couldn't get it full on until 65.5.
Chip
Reply to
Chip

Andy replies
You better check on that Mexico thing. I know that 10 years ago when I was considering retiring in Mexico, at that time Medicare didn't cover it. We would have had to buy IMSS, which is the Mexican Health Care system. It was pretty damn cheap, too......
Reply to
AndyS

You are right. That is pitiful. We pay in for our entire working life and get nothing if we live outside the US. It would save Medicare money to have expats treated in their residing country. Much of the growing retiree population is going to be traveling overseas.
Gary
Reply to
Abby Brown

And if you are out of the country and, because you can't use it, you don't pay for Medicare B, if you should return, and want to begin Medicare coverage, you will have a considerable delay in time until you can become insured, plus a significant penalty added to the premium.
Reply to
Ron Rosenfeld

Andy comments:
Good point. In Mexico, medical care for those without IMSS only costs a small fraction of what it costs in the US, for the same or better care. Even if one did have standard Medicare, the total cost in Mexico is roughly what the patient's portion would be in the US...... The IMSS hospitals are well equipped, and the doctors are well trained. I followed this for many years, talking to those who had used the services, and I never heard a single complaint. You don't have to be a Mexican citizen to buy IMSS, tho, and a few years ago it cost $450 a year for a family. Probably a couple hundred more now. You can probably google it to learn more.
Also, there are websites like
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that deal with question about Mexico in general for expats.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
PS Been there, done that, got the T shirt, decided to retire in the US instead, where I'm not a third class citizen...
Reply to
AndyS

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